Bariatric surgery diet

Bariatric surgery diet

Bariatric surgery diet

General Guidelines

  • Eat balanced meals with small portions.
  • Follow a diet low in calories, fats and sweets.
  • Keep a daily record of your food portions and of your calorie and protein intake.
  • Eat slowly and chew small bites of food thoroughly.
  • Avoid rice, bread, raw vegetables and fresh fruits, as well as meats that are not easily chewed, such as pork and steak. Ground meats are usually better tolerated.
  • Do not use straws, drink carbonated beverages or chew ice. They can introduce air into your pouch and cause discomfort.
  • Avoid sugar, sugar-containing foods and beverages, concentrated sweets and fruit juices.
  • For the first two months following surgery, your calorie intake should be between 300 and 600 calories a day, with a focus on thin and thicker liquids.
  • Daily caloric intake should not exceed 1,000 calories.

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  • Drink extra water and low-calorie or calorie-free fluids between meals to avoid dehydration. All liquids should be caffeine-free.
  • Sip about 1 cup of fluid between each small meal, six to eight times a day.
  • We recommend drinking at least 2 liters (64 ounces or 8 cups) of fluids a day. You will gradually be able to meet this target.
  • We strongly warn against drinking any alcoholic beverages. After surgery, alcohol is absorbed into your system much more quickly than before, making its sedative and mood-altering effects more difficult to predict and control.


Preserve muscle tissue by eating foods rich in protein. High-protein foods include eggs, meats, fish, seafood, tuna, poultry, soy milk, tofu, cottage cheese, yogurt and other milk products. Your goal should be a minimum of 65 to 75 grams of protein a day. Don't worry if you can't reach this goal in the first few months after surgery.


You must take the following supplements on a daily basis to prevent nutrient deficiencies. Please remember that all pills must be crushed or cut into six to eight small pieces. You are not able to absorb whole pills as well as before surgery, and it can be difficult for the pills to pass through your new anatomy.


Take a high-potency daily chewable multivitamin and mineral supplement that contains a minimum of 18 mg of iron, 400 mcg of folic acid, selenium, copper and zinc. Brands that contain this formula include Trader Joe’s and Centrum Adult chewable multivitamins. Take two tablets daily for at least three months after your surgery, and then one tablet daily for life.

Calcium Supplement

Take 1,200 to 2,000 mg of calcium daily to prevent calcium deficiency and bone disease. To enhance absorption, take the calcium in two to three divided doses throughout the day - for example, a 500 to 600 mg supplement taken three times a day. Calcium citrate is the preferred form of calcium.

Vitamin D Supplement

Take a total of 800 to 1,000 International Units (IUs) of vitamin D each day. This total amount should be taken in divided doses of 400 to 500 IUs twice a day. Vitamin D should be taken with your calcium supplement. If you prefer, you can take a combination calcium-vitamin D supplement to avoid taking multiple pills, so long as it contains the proper dosages.

Vitamin B12 Supplement

Take 500 mcg of vitamin B daily. It can be taken as a tablet, or in sublingual forms placed under the tongue.

Other Supplements

Some patients need additional folic acid or iron supplements, particularly women who are still menstruating. Your dietitian will discuss this with you.


  • Protein: ¼ cup scrambled eggs or egg substitute
  • Starch: ¼ cup hot cereal
  • Fruit: ¼ cup canned peaches in own juice
  • Fat: 1 teaspoon margarine


  • Protein: ¼ cup (1 ounce) deli sliced turkey breast
  • Starch: ¼ cup mashed potatoes
  • Fruit/vegetable: ¼ cup pears or mixed fruit in own juice or light
  • Fat: 1 teaspoon margarine


  • Protein: ¼ cup (1 ounce) white fish (no breading)
  • Starch: ¼ cup sweet potato
  • Vegetable: ¼ cup cooked green beans
  • Fat: 1 teaspoon margarine

10 common questions about Bariatric surgery diet

1What can you eat on bariatric diet?
Follow a diet low in calories, fats and sweets. Keep a daily record of your food portions and of your calorie and protein intake. Eat slowly and chew small bites of food thoroughly. Avoid rice, bread, raw vegetables and fresh fruits, as well as meats that are not easily chewed, such as pork and steak
2What can I eat 3 weeks after gastric bypass?
During this phase after bariatric surgery, you will transition to more solid foods. This may include soft meat, fish, chicken, cereals, cooked vegetables, and canned and fresh fruits. During the soft diet, continue to: Incorporate high protein foods into your diet and consume them first at meals.
3How much weight will I lose after gastric bypass?
If you've had gastric bypass surgery, you will have lost about 30% to 40% of excess body weight. With gastric banding surgery, you lose 1 to 2 pounds a week -- so by six months, you'll have lost 25 to 50 pounds
4How much weight can you lose on the liver shrinking diet?
8-10 lbs During the liver reduction diet you should expect to lose a minimum of 8-10 lbs.
5What can I eat 2 weeks after gastric sleeve?
It's a strict diet that reduces calories as well as carbohydrates, such as sweets, potatoes, and pasta. You will eat primarily lean protein, vegetables, and low- or no-calorie fluids. Your doctor may give you a caloric goal to stick to daily. Two days prior to surgery, you will switch to a clear, liquid diet
6Can you ever eat normally after gastric bypass?
Weeks 6 to 8 After six weeks you should be able to resume a normal solid food diet. Your gastric sleeve will allow you to eat almost any type or texture of food.
7Can I eat rice after bariatric sleeve surgery?
Since your stomach is about the size of a walnut after bariatric surgery, you will need to get enough daily nutrition by making wise diet choices. A bariatric surgery diet means avoiding foods that provide little or no nutritional value. This includes pastries, candy, chips, pretzels, rice cakes, and popcorn.
8Do you lose more weight with gastric bypass or sleeve?
You should work alongside your doctor to choose the best weight loss procedure for you. Gastric bypass patients lose between 50 to 80 percent of excess bodyweight within 12 to 18 months, on average. Gastric sleeve patients lose between 60 and 70 percent of their excess body weight within 12 to 18 months, on average.
9What is the average weight loss per month after bariatric surgery?
During the first 30 days after bariatric surgery, the average weight loss is 5 to 15 pounds per week. Men tend to lose weight at a faster pace than women. By two months, most people average a 20% loss of excess weight
10How quickly will I lose weight after gastric sleeve?
But most people lose up to 60 percent of their excess weight following gastric sleeve surgery, according to The Obesity Action Coalition. That being said, you won't lose that kind of weight overnight. It will take time to see significant results, but most patients hit milestones at 3, 6, 12 and 18 months.


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